Those of us working in roles that are regularly confronted with other people’s trauma are impacted by the lives and stories of those we are assisting. The cumulative effects of the experiences of others can lead to vicarious trauma in the human services workforce. Vicarious trauma is a natural and normal part of this work, but to deny, dismiss, or minimise the experiences of our co-workers will not only heighten their sense of trauma but will lead to a lessening of their ability to effectively perform and deliver services over time.
Research shows that the impacts of vicarious trauma for employees can be lessened when leaders, managers and supervisors consider vicarious trauma as an occupational or health and safety hazard, apply strategies and structure organisational support to the issue. Putting structures in place that can reduce vicarious trauma is critical for the organisation’s long-term success.
Due to demand from previous attendees of vicarious trauma workshops, Q Shelter have asked our trauma expert, Tere Vaka to facilitate a session aimed at leaders who want to make sure that their organisation is a safe place by taking a proactive approach to learning about, and planning for vicarious trauma. Our morning session would be an excellent complement to this session, by deepening your understanding of vicarious trauma overall before moving to this more focussed session.